Media Release: University appoints new Professors to support key sectors

Prof Andrew Rae

THE University of the Highlands and Islands is developing its curriculum and research specialisms with the appointment of four new Professors.

Keith Smyth, an expert in online learning and technology in education, has been appointed as Professor of pedagogy.

As a dispersed institution which delivers degrees though 13 colleges and research institutions around the region, the university is recognised for its innovative approach to education. Based at Moray College UHI’s new Alexander Graham Bell Centre for Digital Health in Elgin, Professor Smyth will help to develop learning and teaching initiatives in the university and extend education-related research and scholarship.

Professor Smyth joins the university from Edinburgh Napier where he was a senior teaching fellow and a senior lecturer in higher education.

The university’s new Professor of digital health, Maged Kamel Boulos, will also be based at the Alexander Graham Bell Centre. Formerly associate Professor of health informatics at the University of Plymouth, Professor Boulos is a specialist in digital medicine (including areas such as telehealthcare) and has published over 100 papers in the field.

As a region with remote and rural areas, and an established life sciences sector, digital health is increasingly important to the Highlands and Islands and the university.

Recognising energy as another key area, the university has appointed Ben Wilson as Professor of energy. Professor Wilson joins the university’s research team from the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) UHI where he works as a principal investigator in mammalogy and marine renewables.

An expert in coastal ecology with an interest in the impact of renewable devices on marine flora and fauna, he is well placed to develop the university’s portfolio of energy research and to help ensure energy development and environmental sustainability go hand in hand.

Professor Wilson will continue to work from SAMS UHI in Dunstaffnage, Argyll, and will also have a base at Inverness College UHI.

The university’s new Professor of engineering will be based at Perth College UHI.

Andrew Rae, an expert in aeronautical engineering and aerodynamics with a range of industry experience, has worked on projects for Airbus, Boeing and several Formula 1 teams.

He was latterly employed as head of engineering, science and technology curriculum at Perth College UHI.

In his new role, Professor Rae will be responsible for leading the development of professionally-accredited Master’s degrees and expanding the university’s engineering-related research.

Principal and vice-chancellor Professor Clive Mulholland, welcomed the new appointments, saying: “We are excited to be appointing such high-calibre Professors who are recognised for their academic expertise and industry experience across their sectors.

“Our university is a dynamic and growing partnership of 13 institutions spread around the Highlands and Islands.

“We are investing in and growing our curriculum and research in all areas which relate to the current and emerging needs of, and opportunities for, the region and our communities.

“In some of these areas, we are building on what we’ve already achieved by appointing senior academics who can work with staff across the region to add even greater momentum to the university’s growth.

“These new leadership posts will greatly benefit our future work.”


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